A new custom

July 6, 2007

The pickup: Haven’t been to the farmers’ market for more than a week, and — oops — I went a little crazy! A dozen eggs (a market must after reading the egg article), a pint of raspberries to supplement the ones that are just ripening in our yard, a pint of blueberries (not nearly enough; this weekend I’ll make a special trip to pick more), two pounds of favas, beets, asparagus (still!), carrots, garlic scapes, spring onions — large and small — peas in the pod, spinach, two pounds of pasta from Pastaworks, a ciabatta roll for my daughter, a pound of fresh cherries and 20 more covered with dark chocolate, a chunk of smoked salmon, two peaches, and three small tomatoes.

A simple pleasure.

The results: Dinners at home! Two pasta dinners, and a side of grilled asparagus (James marinates it in olive oil and lemon juice before readying the coals) to accompany our Fourth of July hot dogs. With the favas I made Jim Dixon’s fava bean spread, which everyone loved.

Years ago we were lucky to visit friends in Finland late in the afternoon on a very warm Midsummer Day and were promptly served glasses of cold Champagne and a big bowl of freshly picked peas in the pod (the light beginning to a feast that would go on for hours). I was charmed by the ease of it. On a hot day this week, when a visitor from Guatemala joined us, I served the farmers’ market peas in their pods alongside an apertif of Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir rosé. Do peas grow in Guatemala? I wonder if our guest will take home this borrowed custom, north by northwest.

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